By Mary Crouch
Live Event -- Feb. 16 at George’s Majestic Lounge, Fayetteville, Ark.
Sean Harrison will clarify straight away that the title of his debut album, Halfway From Nashville, suggests neither a place on the map nor a collection of Nashville-style country songs.
“I was born in Nashville, and if you’ll indulge me in agreeing I’m halfway through my life, well … there you go, it’s a timeline, a life journey,” Harrison said. “And, yeah, I think these are mostly country songs but they probably don’t fit neatly into today’s Nashville sound.”
The 12-song album released by producer Ben Meade of Cosmic Cowboy Records will be available on all music platforms beginning Jan. 31. The indie label and the songwriter are both based in Fayetteville, Ark. The album represents a strong move in the Country/Americana category for Northwest Arkansas’ evolving music and arts scene.
A music and arts scene -- including theater, literature, film and more -- which oddly Harrison could seem to be helping bring full-circle from a surge in the 1960s and 70s when his father, the late author William Harrison of “Rollerball” renown, helped put Fayetteville on the literary map with the University of Arkansas’ MFA program in creative writing.
“I grew up around all these great fiction writers, and I think that’s why I tend to write songs in the country vein -- it’s good for storytelling,” Harrison said. “I remember when Jim Whitehead (the other UA Writing Program co-founder) wrote with country star Tom T. Hall. And poet Miller Williams, father of Lucinda Williams. One of my songs, ‘Ode To A Goner,’ was co-written with John Dufresne, who is one of the UA Program’s best known graduates. So for me it all fits together.”
Cosmic Cowboy Records, too, along with its recently opened Cosmic Cowboy Studio, is a significant part of the region’s revived music scene, with founder Meade joining other producers/developers like ex-Stax Records president Al Bell; like the acclaimed Fayetteville Roots Festival; like Walton Arts Center, and the new Momentary Arts Space (Bentonville) programs; and like a host of new and seasoned recording, publishing and songwriting talent sprouting up around the region.
“When I first heard Sean’s songs I got very excited. He can really write, and I knew this album was going to be something special. I’m pleased to be able to work with Sean and bring this great album to the world,” said Meade. “Sean’s style blends the whole variety of flavors that influenced Northwest Arkansas and the Ozark region’s musical traditions.”
Hear the album
Halfway From Nashville is available for pre-sale at iTunes and Apple Music, here: http://itunes.apple.com/album/id/1493761433.
On Jan. 31, the album will be available for download and streaming on all platforms, and CDs will be available through Harrison’s website https://seanharrisonsongs.com, and the Cosmic Cowboy Studio/Records website https://cosmiccowboystudio.com/.
Free Show, Feb. 16, George’s Majestic Lounge
WHAT: A free show and album-release celebration
WHO: Sean Harrison and Cosmic Cowboy Records musical guests
WHEN: 4-7pm, Sunday, February 16
WHERE: George’s Majestic Lounge, 519 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville, AR 72701, PH (479) 527-6618
Album cover art:
Sean Harrison promo photo:
Cosmic Cowboy Records logo: